Alcohol and smoking will worsen the condition of heart failure, so it is essential that people with heart failure reduce their alcohol intake and quit smoking.
Although there is evidence that taking a little bit of alcohol (three or less standard drinks* a week) may lower the risk of heart disease, taking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, worsen heart failure, or lead to a stroke.
* One standard drink contains 10g of pure alcohol and is equivalent to 1 can of beer (220ml), 1 glass of wine (100ml), or 1 nip (30ml) of spirits.
Addictions: Signs, Symptoms and Reasons
Every cigarette contains more than 4,000 harmful chemicals including nicotine which triggers the body to release adrenaline. This narrows the blood vessels and forces the heart to beat harder.
Smoking damages the blood vessels, reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood and makes the heart beat faster. All these can make the heart condition worse. Smoking can lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, lung diseases and stomach ulcers.
Passive smokers (people who breathe in other people’s smoke) suffer similar health risks as smokers.
If you are a smoker with heart failure, it is important to quit smoking. The benefits of quitting smoking include:
Quitting smoking requires your motivation, confidence and commitment. Various forms of support are available to increase your chances of quitting smoking successfully. Your doctor, nurse, pharmacist or a quit consultant can help you quit your smoking habit.
Read these next:
This article was last reviewed on
Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Heart Failure - Signs, Symptoms and Diagnosis
Heart Failure - Monitoring Fluid and Salt Intake
Heart Failure - Monitoring Weight and Blood Pressure
Heart Failure - Keeping to a Healthy Diet
Heart Failure – Regular Exercise and Physical Activity
In partnership with